VW Variant Love


With summer showing its flip flop clad feet round these parts the last couple of days, thoughts are turning once again to utility wagons, the beach and highway love. And personally, I have fond memories of the long defunct VW Variant Estate, pictured above in a lovely set of pictures of early Basque Country surf culture in French cool fest Desillusion Magazine.

The wry ad campaign featured below is apposite here. It’s unimaginable to think how, but one summer in the late 1970s my family managed to cram thirteen people into my old man’s dark blue edition. There we were singing Summer Holiday all the way to Clacton, kids stuffed to the gunwales, in the boot, three in the front bench, and gawd knows how many in the rear.

There’s a subtle, mid-century charm to this design, with its bug eyes, louvres and rakes – little wonder that bug obsessives continually chop, drop and equip these things for a beach culture they only dream can exist this side of the roaring atlantic.